The Deutsche Bahn is currently virtually the sole provider of long-distance transport on the railway track. Travellers thus have no choice. They either have to accept the service provided by the Deutsche Bahn or use cars, long-distance coaches or planes.
We want to close this service gap with our alternative; a fair, low-priced and consistently ecological long-distance train.
Our first train will operate once a day on the track Berlin ↔ Stuttgart starting 04 September 2016 (for all stops please check the schedule included in the picture gallery).
For this purpose we concluded binding framework agreements with the DB Netz AG, which guarantee our schedule for the next 5 years.
In order to be able to start operations in September 2016 as planned, we “just” need the traditional seed capital for our train company start-up, for the:
• advance rent due to our partners for locomotives and passenger carriages,
• set-up of the ticket sale, payment of service, administrative and management staff during the launch phase,
• advertisement and marketing of our service,
• modernisation of further passenger carriages for longer trains.
We need the support of many, including you, to make our fair, low-priced and ecological alternative a reality!
If you travel from or to Stuttgart, Vaihingen/Enz, Heidelberg, Darmstadt, Frankfurt (Main), Hanau, Fulda, Kassel, Göttingen, Hanover, Wolfsburg and Berlin and want to switch from taking the car, long-distance coach or plane we are the right choice for you.
Our target group are people, who are looking for an ecological, low-priced service-oriented and child-friendly alternative to the Deutsche Bahn. This includes commuters and leisure travellers, students and business people, pensioners and families with children.
For these groups we have designed our train service as follows:
• Our train will operate with newly modernized passenger carriages. The comfortable compartments offer you the traditional comfortable train travel comfort. Additionally, we provide new spacious tables at the windows as well as four sockets in each compartment. There is free Wi-Fi available to all travellers.
• Our service: We want to put customer service on the forefront. This includes a friendly welcome aboard and addressing all of our passengers' needs. Further, we provide a simple booking system (online and through an app) with free choice of seats free of charge. We will offer you an on-board catering service at your seat with fair-priced products, which will be primarily organic and where possible fair trade.
• Our prices: We are offering early booking tickets with starting prices of 7 € for short distances, 13 € for middle-range distances and 22 € for long distances. The maximum price will always be underneath half of the regular price of the Deutsche Bahn – the price when owning a BahnCard 50. You can already get several different Early-Bird-Ticket vouchers today, exclusively at Startnext. Only at Startnext can you get our lowest ticket prices without validity limitations. The fees for rebooking or cancellation are moderately priced at 3 and 7 Euros. When the average seat load factor of 75 % per train and entire route is achieved, registered passengers will receive a discount of 3 % as a share in the profit. In case the train is completely booked, the discount will raise up to 7 %. We plan to recognise tickets for long-distance travel of the Deutsche Bahn if Deutsche Bahn allows this under fair conditions. In this case, passengers would thereby be able to travel independent from their respective providers to and from our trains. In any case, CaptainTrain will provide one booking system for travels combining the services of both providers.
Our special offers:
• Travelling with children: Children until the age of 14 travel free if accompanied by an adult. Small groups with at least for people, thereunder children (e.g. families), can normally book their own compartment without extra charge. During peak times, e.g. Friday afternoon, the compartment booking will be priced with a moderate surcharge of 15 €. According to demand, we will provide a flexible number of family compartments. Additionally for children of the age of five and older we offer a travel service for unaccompanied minors.
• Business upgrade: Our offer for everyone that likes a little more space and special service. The offer contains 3-person occupancy in a 6-person compartment with snacks and beverages served at your seat including additional pillows and daily newspapers.
• Mobile office: Compartments are available for individual booking or usage as a mobile office for up to three people. At attractive rates, we offer you free Wi-Fi, more space, a quiet undisturbed compartment, including coffee and snacks.
• Further themed compartments: Beyond our offers for travelling with children and our business offers, we would like to extend our services to other themes. Request your theme and we will offer you the opportunity to find other travellers sharing your interest, e.g. playing provided board games such as the Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne during the train ride.
• We also offer our social seating service: Travellers can unlock their profile for other travellers on a voluntary basis while booking their seats. In return, they can see the profiles of other travellers who chose to do so.
• Booking invitation: The first person of a group to book can pre-reserve a compartment including its price (check Prices) and send the other members of the group an invitation to join him/her in said compartment via e-mail.
Railway travel is the most ecological and yet comfortable option for long-distance travel. We decided to launch a railway company in which we combine customer-orientation, ecology and economic efficiency.
This project can only be successful if we, the founding team, work closely together with our customers during the conceptualisation phase.
The recent success stories in the crowd-funding community have motivated us to finance the first train connection directly in cooperation with our future passengers and train travel supporters, despite the comparably high budget required for doing so.
You can support us here and now at Startnext or by signing a subordinated profit-participating loan at https://locomore.com/en/invest.html. .
What happens to the payments and donations in case you successfully finance your project?
In order to operate our first train from Berlin to Stuttgart in September 2015, we require at least 460.000 € and up to 1.000.000 €. In the past months we were able to sign profit-participating loans worth 150.000 € and we expect to sign further loans worth 70.000 €. We have obtained these loans through our on-going crowd-invest campaign on our website https://locomore.com/en/invest.html.
Our funding minimum is thus set at 240.000 €; the funding target is set at 780.000 € respectively.
• Additionally to the available capital of 150.000 €, we require additional equity worth 100.000 € for the renting or alternatively buying and subsequent modernisation of at least 8 passenger carriages.
• For personnel and material costs of the team from February 2016 until the start of operations in September we require 180.000 € for 6 staff positions (management, business set-up, finances, operation, marketing and distribution).
• We require 30.000 € for operations preparation. These include the costs for recruitment and training of service personnel, investments for on-board service operation and the costs for operational test runs.
If we obtain the funding minimum, we can thus start operations. However, aside personnel costs for the provision of the booking IT services as well as public relations work and community management/social media, we would not have significant means for marketing and distribution.
The costs for the latter would be covered with the amounts provided beyond the funding minimum:
• If we secure at least 80.000 € we will advertise the start of bookings with our first marketing campaign three months prior to the start of operations (including an additional staff position for this campaign); with additional 70.000 € we would push these efforts even further
• We would like to invest an additional amount of 20.000 € into distribution, for which we would create an additional staff position
• If another 35.000 € are obtained, we will be able to improve the service and on-board operation equipment (machines for distribution, coffee machines, service personnel uniforms, etc.)
• An additional amount of 185.000 € would be put to use for marketing, in particular with regard to the start of operations.
• With another 150.000 €, we would be able to purchase and modernise three additional passenger carriages. That way we could cover peak demand and would have an improved carriages reserve.
Locomore was founded by Derek Ladewig in 2007 with the aim of getting an alternative to the Deutsche Bahn on track. Locomore was thus significantly involved in the initiation of the Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX). Derek joined the operation of the company HKX in 2009 together with other early Locomore shareholders. Derek Ladewig and several of his colleagues left however HKX prior to the start of operation due to insurmountable differences regarding the strategic direction with the American majority investor RDC in the area of HKX product development. Their enthusiasm for long-distance trains remained nevertheless untainted, and thus they keep on working to put a convincing alternative to the Deutsche Bahn and the emerging long-distance coaches on tracks.
Derek Ladewig, born in 1971, is founder, shareholder and managing director of Locomore. As a public administration and management specialist, Derek has dedicated his career to the field of transportation with special emphasis on train transportation. His career includes work in public transportation, as adviser on train transportation to the German Bundestag and initiator of the Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX). He is the driving force behind Locomore. It is his core belief that long distance travel on tracks can only gain new passengers sustainably if travellers have a real choice between offers of different railway companies.
Johanna Jäger, born in 1977, shareholder and business set-up support. As political scientist, she worked for non-profit organisations in the environmental and humanitarian sector before joining the team. In addition to her work for Locomore, she is involved in adult education with a focus on ecology, including the subject of mobility. As a passionate train traveller, she supports the business development of Locomore.
Nicolas Dietrich, born in 1981, shareholder and responsible for IT and distribution at Locomore. Nicolas is a computer scientist and co-founder of Partou eG. Additionally, he works for the Liquid Democracy e.V. and is involved with the Free Software Foundation Europe. Together with Sqills as a partner, he developed a distribution system especially catered to the needs of the long distance railway transportation sector. The system was originally developed for HKX, but has been developed further for Locomore with improved performance. He supports the team in all business development processes with his usual IT accuracy.
Mark Peter Wege, born in 1973, is responsible for the Community Management. The certified psychologist and passionate train traveller has been active in the environmental and anti-nuclear movement for a long time. Aside his work for Locomore, he is involved in environmental education. His main goals are ecology, fairness and establishment of a community, which supports the values of Locomore.
The company Locomore
Locomore is structured as a limited liability partnership (GmbH & Co. KG). The Railway Management GmbH acts as general partner. The shares of Locomore are held in majority by Derek Ladewig (61.5 %), other team members (16 %) and circa 15 additional silent partners (22.5 %).